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Tirion

Rebel Troopers vs Fleet Troopers and Pathfinders

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There is a common narrative that fleet troopers and pathfinders are inefficient for their points. When you break it down that not only isn't the case but in general is the opposite. Now i'm not about to go on a rant claiming that these units are better than RT, that min/maxing isn't the best way to win a tournament or that these units don't have flaws. Just simply showing that these units deserve another look and that maybe they have been judged to harshly or in some cases incorrectly.

First lets break down the math of the dice in average damage per:

White - .250

White/Surge - .375

Black - .500

Black/Surge - .625

Red - .750

Red/Surge - .875

 

Rebel trooper - 40 points 4 black - 2 damage - .05 damage per point - range 3

Rebel trooper Z6 - 62 points 4 black 6 white - 3.5 damage - .057 DPP - range 3

Fleet troopers - 44 points - 3 damage - .068 DPP - range 2

Fleet troopers shotgun - 67 points - 4.75 damage (w/pierce) - .071 DPP - range 2

Pathfinders - 68 points - 3 damage - 3 damage - .044 DPP- range 3

 

Now everything will be measured against the RT since it is regarded as the most efficient unit specifically the z6. I also understand that terrain build plays a heavy roll in this discussion but there is no way to really quantify that. 

 

Rebel Troopers vs Fleet Troopers

We see that while at range 2 the FT for a mere 4 points more at the base squads, do 50% more damage than rebel troopers thanks to their surge. That is a massive increase in average damage. Even looking at the costs it is a 36% increase in DPP, again massive. 
When we compare their most common heavy weapon options (Z6 and shotgun) it isn't as big of a gap but still an increase of 36 percent average damage, though the DPP difference is margin at 4%. The big difference there is the presence of pierce 1 on the FT. 
Why is a 50% increase in damage naked and a 36% increase in damage with a heavy weapon overlooked? Another way to look at is the Z6 vs the naked FT. The Z6 only does 17%, or 0.5 average damage more than a naked FT. The Z6 actually has a 19% worse DPP. 
A common argument against FT is that they get wrecked by snipers. Yeah, so do RT. The difference of having a range 2 weapon vs a range 3 weapon is not worth mentioning. Their defensive capabilities against a sniper are identical. I think this all really comes down the perceived ineffectiveness of range 2. 

 

Rebel Troopers vs Pathfinders

The Pathfinders are not as crazy in the discrepancies as the FT,  and it is true that they have the lowest DPP of the three units, so if by having the lowest DPP makes you points inefficient than okay. However I think once it is broken down you see it isn't a matter of point inefficiency as points being spent in other areas. At its base the pathfinders do 14% less damage next to a Z6 while costing 6 points more and a 12% drop in DPP. At the end of the day though we are talking about 6 points, which when looking at Danger Sense 3, Dauntless, Infiltrate, Courage 2, and additional upgrade slots, all of a sudden 6 points isn't a big ask at all. 
While they defensively will still get wrecked by snipers just like everyone else not named Sabin, they are significantly better than both RT and FT against other attacks. Danger Sense 3 maxed out, which isn't hard, on average adds another block.

Conclusion

None of this is to say that these units are better than RT or that they do not inherently have flaws. The FT have range 2, which can suck at times (though the grenade launcher is range 3 but I'll save that thread for a different day). The pathfinders can be very dicey and the usefulness of infiltrate can vary wildly by game. When you look at point efficiency though, I don't think you can say FT or pathfinders come up short. Ineffective? sure (though I will defend FT to the end), but the numbers don't defend the inefficient narrative especially on the FT. 

 

May the dissenting begin. 

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I'm actually a fan of both fleet troopers and pathfinders, fleet troopers , like flamethrower ST units suffer from  suppression and that hit on the movement makes kiting them easier. That isn't to say they are not without use, as any way of getting them close enough to hit (no time for sorrows, rapid reinforcements etc).

Pathfinders might be inefficient in comparison but IMO with danger sense they can take a good beating, the double white attack if you can get an aim token on them they hit like a truck, finally with dauntless you can still count on them getting them to where you want. I don't like that the WC saw little innovation for the rebels, but I'm happy rocking my J yn Erso /Pathfinder build inefficient or not. Last game saw Jyn hit 4 times by various imperial units including getting blasted a couple of times by an ATST and I still hadn't used esteemed commander and had emergency stims to keep her on objective.

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Posted (edited)

I don't think fleet troopers are inefficient, just not as versitile and spa able as normal troopers. I think they work best as 1 or 2 squads.

With the correct support they got great firepower for their prize. I talk about it in my latest unit analysis.https://rebelsguide.home.blog/category/unit-analysis/

Pathfinders have been hit and miss for me when I used them. For their price I would have liked to see some better offensive power or better armor save, they die so easy sadly. Gonna need to get some more games in with them.

Edited by jocke01

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Posted (edited)

What I dislike about Fleet Troopers and Pathfinders is the same: white dice aka variability. Z6s are also variable, but have the black dice in the pool to add some consistency. Rolling 10 white dice and getting 1 or 2 hits happens as often as a big hit. Fleets on particular are going to get 1 good shot per game, maybe 2. If that shot whiffs that sucks pretty hard. 

Edit: Efficiency doesn't actually matter in my book if the unit is not also Effective.

Edited by Matt Antilles

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1 hour ago, Matt Antilles said:

What I dislike about Fleet Troopers and Pathfinders is the same: white dice aka variability. Z6s are also variable, but have the black dice in the pool to add some consistency. Rolling 10 white dice and getting 1 or 2 hits happens as often as a big hit. Fleets on particular are going to get 1 good shot per game, maybe 2. If that shot whiffs that sucks pretty hard. 

Edit: Efficiency doesn't actually matter in my book if the unit is not also Effective.

This is something I've learned a bit more recently, it's not about efficiency in combat, it's about gaining points via objectives, example if I have my pathfinders with 2/3 suppression sitting up front, of my army and it takes my opponent 1 or two rounds to whittle it down that's two turns that I've been setting up on my objectives where my opponent had not, that's well worth the sacrifice to the white defence dice God who I pray to fervently several times a Legion game.

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1 hour ago, Matt Antilles said:

What I dislike about Fleet Troopers and Pathfinders is the same: white dice aka variability. Z6s are also variable, but have the black dice in the pool to add some consistency. Rolling 10 white dice and getting 1 or 2 hits happens as often as a big hit. Fleets on particular are going to get 1 good shot per game, maybe 2. If that shot whiffs that sucks pretty hard. 

Edit: Efficiency doesn't actually matter in my book if the unit is not also Effective.

a white surge dice is barely worse than a non surge Black die and when you consider there are two of them......

A z6's white dice are way more variable then fleet trooper or Pathfinder dice

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Posted (edited)

 

Edit: I'm leaving my ill-considered words below, but was wrong. They were based on a mis-read of the OP.

-----------------------------------------------------

I have actually never seen anyone call the Fleet Troopers inefficient before - who are you reacting to?


They are tough to use though. You flippantly say the range difference "is not worth mentioning" but it is in fact why they are hard to use, despite being one of the most efficient units in the game.

 

I love fleet troopers too, but let's steer away from hyperbole. It's unreasonable to suggest that everyone who disagrees with you just hasn't thought about it hard enough.

Leave that kind of nonsense in the trashcan where it belongs, unless you can back it up on the table. We already have one Derrault, and he is much better at that game anyway.

 

Edited by colki

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, colki said:

I have actually never seen anyone call the Fleet Troopers inefficient before - who are you reacting to?


They are tough to use though. You flippantly say the range difference "is not worth mentioning" but it is in fact why they are hard to use, despite being one of the most efficient units in the game.

 

I love fleet troopers too, but let's steer away from hyperbole. It's unreasonable to suggest that everyone who disagrees with you just hasn't thought about it hard enough.

Leave that kind of nonsense in the trashcan where it belongs, unless you can back it up on the table. We already have one Derrault, and he is much better at that game anyway.

 

Against snipers range two vs range three isn't worth mentioning cause it doesn't matter..... Way to take that statement completely out of context.

What are you talking about hyperbole? I use statistics for most of this.

I didn't say anything about anyone disagreeing with me, in fact I point out this isn't debating the current trends, simply that these units deserve another look.

Leave that nonsense in the trash. Which nonsense exactly the math or the math? 

Did you read the same thing I wrote?

Edited by Tirion

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Fleet troopers are actually pretty nice but that short range is hard to deal with somwtimes.  Its too bad standby is kind of meh; if it wasnt so easy to knock the standby token off them they'd be much more useful.

 

Pathfinders are interesting but without multiple suppression tokens just aren't tough enough and don't hit hard enough.  You can load them up with upgrades but they get too expensive IMO.  

 

I wouldn't say either unit is bad per se, but theyre definitely more difficult to use and thats hard to show in things like point efficiency breakdowns.  

Thanks for the write up though and the discussion starter.  

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3 hours ago, Tirion said:

Against snipers range two vs range three isn't worth mentioning cause it doesn't matter..... Way to take that statement completely out of context

 

Oops! My bad! Reading fail on my part.

Sorry man, I seem to have read a bunch of attitude into your post that isn't there at all. Please accept my apologies.

 

 

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I actually generally prefer Fleet troopers over regular rebel troopers, and have seen Pathfinders played effectively on more than one occasion.  Fleet's biggest problem is range (as addressed), but a table not suffering from TTDS usually provides methods of mitigating that problem.

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2 hours ago, colki said:

Oops! My bad! Reading fail on my part.

Sorry man, I seem to have read a bunch of attitude into your post that isn't there at all. Please accept my apologies.

 

 

I appreciate that. Yeah definitely wasn't meant to have attitude.

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I love my Pathfinders, but the only times I've seen them pull their weight is at home in solitaire games where I somehow roll lots of natural crits and stuff with those white dice :D 

I am trying to justify keeping 1 unit of them in my "competitive" lists, with Pao, but i had such bad experiences with Danger Sense never working, that I wind up subconsciously babying them where I leave them out of danger and thus, am not using them effectively.

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Remember a white surge offensive die is only one facing worse then a black die and you get two of them. Which increases your average damage by 50% over that black die. I think z6's have us all scared of white dice.

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16 minutes ago, Tirion said:

Remember a white surge offensive die is only one facing worse then a black die and you get two of them. Which increases your average damage by 50% over that black die. I think z6's have us all scared of white dice.

The white attack dice don't scare me; the white defense dice do.

Not once in the games I've played with them and Jyn, has Danger Sense worked out in my favor.

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I struggled with pathfinders but in my last game I played them much better and won the game.  I think they are just harder to use but once you master them they can be very effective - they are excellent objective grabbers, especially when claiming supplies :)

 

Fleets on the other hand I just don't gel with. The short range is bad enough, but their ability to get aims in standby is almost worthless due to how easy it is to remove standby.

As mentioned above, if standby was better (I.e. not so easily removed) then fleets might see more use.

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2 hours ago, manoftomorrow010 said:

The white attack dice don't scare me; the white defense dice do.

Not once in the games I've played with them and Jyn, has Danger Sense worked out in my favor.

I must admit to running them hot with between Jyn 2 or 4 suppression on Jyn and I'm often having them take a beating, however just to point out that they are only saving on average an additional 1 or at best 2 hits per shot on them so comparing against other white dice defence units are going to do better than them but not significantly so, so it is not a replacement for being in cover and having dodge tokens.

With duck and cover though you are getting light cover and an additional white dice , if you have a dodge you're going to double your life expectancy when compared against an unsuppressed rebel trooper unit. 

When I deploy them though I expect them to die, that is their lot in life though if they take 4 or 5 shots and manage to throw out 2 then I'm more than happy, but on recover the supplies on can often steal the third supply and while suppressed run back past Jyn and the rest of your approaching army into safety, denying them the third point (risky but perhaps worth it if your opponent wants bounty VP) , and use Jyn to get the centre point or have them tag team the centre objective with Jyn running off with the pathfinders tarpitting your opponent. for a sure 2-1 victory

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One thing I found with danger sense is that it is very good against low dice attacks, even snipers. If maxed on danger sense, and after cover, only  1 or 2 hits get through there is a good chance you'll block them. It can also help against pierce as you're rolling extra dice.

Because of this, I've found my opponent stops trying to plink them down and focusses elsewhere.

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9 minutes ago, Ghost Dancer said:

One thing I found with danger sense is that it is very good against low dice attacks, even snipers. If maxed on danger sense, and after cover, only  1 or 2 hits get through there is a good chance you'll block them. It can also help against pierce as you're rolling extra dice.

Because of this, I've found my opponent stops trying to plink them down and focusses elsewhere.

Doesn't stop Pierce. Otherwise they would be amazing

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5 minutes ago, Tirion said:

Doesn't stop Pierce. Otherwise they would be amazing

I said it can help against pierce - the extra dice means you have a chance to roll more blocks than hits, so roll 2 blocks against 1 hit with pierce 1 means you don't take any damage.

It won't always work, but its great when it does, and it acts as a deterrent so your opponent might not risk wasting an attack on them.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tirion said:

Doesn't stop Pierce. Otherwise they would be amazing

As above , if you get one hit and pierce 1 you can't avoid the damage since you can only roll one block. If you are rolling 4 or 5 dice you at least have the chance of rolling 2 making you an unattractive target for snipers. Impervious is the red defense equivalent since it adds extra dice when someone hits with pierce giving you the chance to block the hit by rolling 2 blocks

Essentially you have light cover from the suppression, you get your dodge token hopefully, so that you removing 2 or 3 DMG from the hit. A totally average unit shooting you is doing an average 4 DMG and if you have 3 suppression, you are rolling 4 or 5 defense dice and on average saving 1/3 of those, making it hard to remove more than one figure at a time, or one wound on Jyn, though sometimes the white dice God will be angry with you and give you nothing or occasionally be happy and give you 2 or 3 blocks.

Embrace the variance in the rebel saves and trust the average works out. It's easy to remember the time you whiffed on 7 dice but not the time you got no wounds because you rolled 3 saves on 4 or 5 dice.

Edited by syrath

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An article here explains it

https://imperialdiscipline.blog/2018/05/04/impact-x-rebel-pathfinders/

 

For example, the Rebel Pathfinders have below average damage resistance but if they are equipped with Duck and Cover they can benefit from light cover even out in the open and roll an additional defense die for each suppression on them (up to 3) raising their damage resistance from 33.4% to 58.4% or above average (assuming the average of 4 wounds with no keywords) – If we expand that scenario to the extreme example (3 suppression and in light cover against an average 4 wound attack with no keywords) we find that their damage resistance is an incredible 91.75%! 

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Good point about pierce resistance with Danger Sense.  It’s a shame pierce doesn’t just force a re roll of x block results. Would be less powerful and still allow units with higher defense to retain some benefit from it.  

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